Air War in Atlanta

Something of brouhaha has developed in Atlanta concerning the deal between Georgia State University and Georgia Public Broadcasting. The agreement was to hand over daylight-hour broadcasting of the school’s powerful WRAS(FM) Atlanta metro area signal to GPB and sideline the student-run operation and programming during the daylight hours.

The station’s student management says it knew nothing of the agreement until it was announced. They are not exactly leaping into the arms of the public broadcaster.

Now, College Broadcasters, Inc., a group that supports educational institution broadcasting has stepped in with support of the WRAS students, who are protesting the deal. CBI’s response can be read here.

Radio Survivor’s college radio hound Jennifer Waits has information on the students’ efforts here.

For its part, GPB issued this press release at the first announcement. It has been close-lipped since. In the release GPB says, surprisingly, this move finally gives it access to the Atlanta market. It also indicates that it will provide some cooperation with the students on select projects and will air PSAs promoting the university during the 5 a.m. to 7 p.m. hours when GPB controls the air.

GSU’s student newspaper gave the deal a thumb’s down and had some monetary details about the deal. It can be read here.

Georgia State U.’s President Dr. Mark P. Becker called it a “win-win.” Apparently there are those who disagree.

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Comment List:

WRAS was a primte target to be taken over. As a former WRAS deejay and GPB employee, I can tell you that this is a major breakthrough for GPB. Personally it is a bad deal for GSU
By mike on 5/29/2014
President Dr. Mark P. Becker does not understand the value of GSU's assets, this whole deal makes me question if he is fit for the job. Who in their right mind would give up a 100,000 watt license which provides students valuable experience with very little in return from GPB. Let's also note that GPB will duplicate content already provided by WABE. This whole thing astonishes me. WRAS is a cultural institution in Atlanta, nobody would ever guess that someone would be so foolish to meddle with it.
By Chip on 5/28/2014
There are many, many listeners who are united with the students in an effort to stop the GPB takeover of 88.5's airwaves. Many of us are alumni, or their families or alumni, young and old. We were previously were GPB supporters, but no more! We are going on 15,000 people that have signed their petition! We not only no longer support GPB, we are boycotting their sponsors as well.
By Donna Schindler on 5/27/2014

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